Digital TV usb sticks and Linux - what's best?

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Digital TV usb sticks and Linux - what's best?

Post by tpprynn »

I have one of these DVB-TV sticks, which in the UK enables the 'Freeview' TV service to be used with a computer. As usual it comes with a disc with Windows software and drivers. I've had the item months but after settling with Mint and Ubuntu on my computers had not touched the service in quite a while. I'd used it with VLC but had only got it working in quite a random fashion. The latest version of VLC seems to support the dongle better, but once I had tried it out with Lubuntu 16.04 I was able to save a Playlist to use with Mint 17's older VLC. Without this playlist the older VLC seemed to recognise the device but was blind as far as goes getting any channels.

There is reference to Digital TV in Gnome Mplayer's GUI but nothing happens if you choose this from the menu.

Is there any dedicated software for digital TV that I can use, in repositories or elsewhere? VLC's implementation isn't awful and I'm at least lucky that my device is covered by the kernel, but the VLC feature isn't as straightforward as the Windows software.

Additionally, I don't know if it's just about bitrate, I don't think so, but some TV channels seem less clear than they could. BBC NEWS for instance doesn't sound like 128k, although many channels using 192k sound pretty good. DVDs and video files viewed with the same software are almost always fine.

Is anyone here using such a device who can send me further along the learning curve?

Many thanks.

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Re: Digital TV usb sticks and Linux - what's best?

Post by phd21 »

Hi "tpprynn",

It would help to know more about your system setup. If you run "inxi -Fxzd" from the console terminal prompt, highlight the results, copy and paste them back here, that should provide enough information.

I do not have a TV card, USB or otherwise, even though I would like one, so I cannot say for sure that these would work with what you have. But, there are some other posts in this forum regarding USB TV and watching TV in Linux Mint. There are also websites in those posts on various options for this.

"MythTV" is in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM). "Kaffeine", can also play TV.

"SMplayer" with "MPV" might be another option as it shows a TV option.

SMPlayer Sees New Release '15.11' With MPV Support, Install via PPA

Unlike other multi-media players SMplayer doesn't require you to install codecs to play something because it carries its own, all required codecs within itself. This is the first release which now supports MPV and some other features such as MPRIS v2 Support, new theme, 3D stereo filter and more. I recommend reading both web links below.

Web Upd8 - excellent Linux website - This article is for SMplayer & MPV ... h-mpv.html

Noobslab - another excellent Linux website - This article on SMplayer and MPV ... h-mpv.html

To install these using the PPA method, open a console terminal, type in, or copy & paste, each line below one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/smplayer
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/mpv-tests
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mpv smplayer smtube youtube-dl

and for added smplayer themes and skins
sudo apt-get install mpv smplayer smtube smplayer-themes smplayer-skins youtube-dl

To setup MPV as base for SMplayer head over to tool bar Under "Options" menu select "Preferences" then under "General" write /usr/bin/mpv in MPlayer/mpv executable field,

Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Xfce) & KDE Neon 64-bit Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 2 in 1, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics. I use KDE?:

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